Dear Friends, Family and Colleagues:


For many, the month of April brings with it a mixture of feelings - relief in the passing of winter, but weather just volatile enough to make us remember that winter is still close at hand; bright sunny days contrasted by gloomy gray skies and seemingly endless rain. Below are the thoughts of greater minds on this topic:



"You start in April and cross to the time of May
One has you as it leaves, one as it comes
Since the edges of these months are yours and defer
To you, either of them suits your praises.
The Circus continues and the theatre's lauded palm,
Let this song, too, join the Circus spectacle."
-  Ovid, Fasti (V.185-190, CE)


"The first of April is the day we remember what we are the other 364 days of the year."

-  Mark Twain


"It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade." 

- Charles Dickens from Great Expectations


"The sun was warm but the wind was chill.

You know how it is with an April day.
When the sun is out and the wind is still,
You're one month on in the middle of May.
But if you so much as dare to speak,
a cloud come over the sunlit arch,
And wind comes off a frozen peak,
And you're two months back in the middle of March."
-  Robert Frost, Two Tramps in Mud Time, 1926 

"April hath put a spirit of youth in everything."
-  William Shakespeare 

"I stuck my head out the window this morning and spring kissed me bang in the face. "
-  Langston Hughes


In this month's newsletter, we focus on health care.  Our first article provides information about the different options for Advance Health Care documents in Indiana. April has been designated as Parkinson's Disease Awareness Month, so we offer an article that provides more information about this serious illness.  We also offer information about Continuing Care Retirement Communities and issues to watch for if you are considering one of these living arrangements as an option. We offer tips on making sure that your Power of Attorney and your Health Care Power of Attorney work well together, and give you the most recent statistics on the increasing costs of long-term care.


And last, but not least, as has become standard in our newsletter since the road construction outside our windows began, an update on the progress of US-31 and what you can expect when trying to get to our office. Please be aware that the bulk of the project has shifted south, so expect higher traffic in the area between 126th street and 96th street, and be sure to allow extra time for unexpected delays.


Please look for our booth at the Alzheimer's Association Educational Conference on May 1, 2015 in Indianapolis!


We welcome the opportunity to serve the people you care about.  Click on the "Forward to a Friend" button at the top of the page to send this newsletter to someone who will benefit from our insights. If you are a facebook user, please like us on our facebook page.  
If you are part of an organization that is looking for a speaker, our attorneys are happy to share their knowledge with the community.  Contact Amy Cuomo at our office for more information.


Severns Associates, P.C.


Elder Law News from Severns Associates, PC 
April 2015  


Advance Health Care Decision Making: The Living Will and the Health Care Power of Attorney

Under current statutes, Indiana law gives a competent individual the opportunity to make medical treatment directives in advance and to appoint a surrogate decision-maker to speak for him or her during a period of incapacity. The legal tools for advance health care directives are the Living Will and the Health Care Power of Attorney (sometimes called a Health Care Proxy), which are often combined into a single document. At Severns Associates, we routinely produce the documents together as one, so that all of an individual's legal health care decisions are easily transmitted to physicians and those serving as Health Care POAs.

Parkinson's Disease


April has been designated as Parkinson's Disease Awareness Month by the Parkinson's Disease Foundation.  Parkinson's disease is a progressive neurological disorder that affects nearly one million people in the US. Although promising research is being conducted, there is currently no cure for or definitive cause of Parkinson's disease.  



Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs)


CCRCs offer the entire residential continuum--from independent housing to assisted living to round-the-clock nursing services--under one "roof". Residents pay an entry fee and an adjustable monthly rent in return for the guarantee of care for the rest of their life. Because CCRCs maintain an assortment of on-site medical and social services and facilities, residents can enter the community while still relatively healthy and then move on to more intensive care as it becomes necessary.

Avoid Disagreements Between Your Power of Attorney Holder and Health Care Proxy

A durable power of attorney and a health care proxy are two very important estate planning documents. Both allow other people to make decisions for you in the event you are incapacitated. Because the individuals chosen will have to coordinate your care, it is important to pick two people who will get along.


  Read more 


Cost of Private Nursing Home Room Now Averaging $91,250

The median cost of a private nursing home room in the United States has increased 4.2 percent to $91,250 a year, according to the 2015 edition of a Cost of Care survey that the insurer Genworth has conducted for the past 12 years. Genworth reports that the median cost of a semi-private room in a nursing home is $80,300, up 3.8 percent from 2014.


US-31 Traffic Update



Right outside our front door, US-31/Meridian Street in Hamilton County is undergoing a transformation to a freeway.  Plan for delays, as the area from 96th Street past 126th Street will be under construction this year. Later this Summer, 103rd street, where our office is located, will no longer intersect with US-31/Meridian Street and our location will be accessed via Pennsylvania Street. The project is projected to be completed by the end of 2015. 


In addition, Pennsylvania street just south of 116th street is currently closed for construction, so please avoid that area.

If you are traveling to us from the South, you might consider using the alternate routes of College to Pennsylvania Avenue, or Spring Mill to 103rd Street.  106th Street  runs between Keystone and Michigan Roads and is a good alternate route as well.


We will keep you updated with more changes as they occur, but in the meantime, you can continue to access our office from any direction. For more information about this project, visit Hamilton County's New US-31 website.


If you answer yes to any of these questions, Severns Associates can help.

-Has a family member been diagnosed with a mentally or physically debilitating disorder such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, ALS, stroke or a decline in functional capacity?


-Is a family member isolated due to the recent death of a spouse, or have family that either lives too far away or is too busy to provide adequate care?

-Is a family member soon to be discharged into a care facility or currently receiving in-home care?

-Does a family member have a variety of healthcare providers and need coordination and advocacy for quality care?

-Does a family member seem unusually concerned about costs of medication and services, indicating he or she may be having financial troubles?

-Does a family member have assets that fall between $50,000 and $400,000 - enough to finance a short stay in a care facility but not enough for an extended stay?

-Does a family member have a spouse whose financial needs must be considered in light of a family member's medical condition? 





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In This Issue
Advance Health Care Decision Making: The Living Will and the Health Care Power of Attorney
Parkinson's Disease
Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs)
Avoid Disagreements Between Your Power of Attorney Holder and Health Care Proxy
Cost of Private Nursing Home Room Now Averaging $91,250
US-31 Traffic Update



Quick Links


United States Department of Justice Elder Justice Website

Best Law Firm 2013 
Lawyer of the Year detail
Firm Spotlight

William J. Roe

We welcome William to the firm as our newest member. 

Originally from Kokomo, William graduated from Indiana University - Bloomington with a BA in East Asian Studies and a minor in Criminal Justice. He then graduated from St. Thomas University School of Law, and after being admitted to the Florida Bar, was an attorney at maritime law firm Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A. where he worked on passenger and crewmember personal injury cases.  He later opened his own practice where he handled a variety of cases such as personal injury, automobile accidents, family law and civil rights violations. He continued his career with the Consumer Law Office, P.A. where he was in charge of the homeowners' property insurance litigation department. 

Although he will maintain his license to practice law in Florida, William decided it was time to move back to his home state of Indiana and recently passed the Indiana Bar exam. He is awaiting membership in the Indiana Bar Association. William currently lives in Carmel with his wife Sohyang and their two dogs, Haley and Buttercup. William is passionate about wildlife, especially reptiles. He also happens to be the brother of Managing Attorney Anna Howard.


Welcome to Severns Associates!

Outsmart the Scam Artist
Are you a target for identity theft? You may be more at risk than you think.

Attend to learn more about how to protect yourself and loved ones from common scams, fraud, and identity theft. The program will include a panel presentation with representatives from AARP Indiana, Attorney General Greg Zoeller's office, Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry's office, and U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly's office. Questions from the audience will be welcomed and entertained.The events are free and open to the public, but registration is encouraged by calling toll-free at 1-877-926-8300.

Monday, May 4
5:30 - 8:00 p.m.
University of Indianapolis 
Schwitzer Student Center
1400 E. Hanna Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46227

Thursday, May 14th
5:30 - 8:00 p.m.
Butler University 
Atherton Union Hall
704 W. Hampton Drive
Indianapolis, IN 46208

Meet Me at IMA

The Alzheimer's Association Greater Indiana Chapter has partnered with the Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA)  for programs designed for early-stage Alzheimer's individuals, providing an opportunity for them to participate in a facilitated conversation of artworks in the IMA collection with their care partner, family, or friends. The art conversation is facilitated by trained IMA docents.


The program meets every fourth Tuesday from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, 4000 N Michigan Road, Indianapolis, IN 46208. A limited number of spots are available, and registration is required.

To register, call the Alzheimer's Association Greater Indiana Chapter at 

1-800-272-3900. Please prepare to check in 15 minutes early.


Upcoming Dates:

May 26, 2 to 4 p.m. 
Jun. 23, 2 to 4 p.m.


 Make Me at IMA

Persons with dementia will have the opportunity to create works of art and express their creativity. The instructor will guide individuals through each project, encouraging those to express themselves. Classes will be two hours and limited to 15 people. Care partners may choose to remain with their loved one or enjoy the museum and café at their leisure.

To register, call the Alzheimer's Association Greater Indiana Chapter at 


Upcoming Dates:

Jun. 2, 10 am-12 pm


Musical Moments

The Alzheimer's Association Greater Indiana Chapter has partnered with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra to offer participants the opportunity to engage through music. Every show begins at 11 a.m. (except for those marked), but participants and their care partners are encouraged to come and enjoy coffee and pastries prior to the start of the show at 10 a.m. Tickets are limited, and advance registration for each performance is required.    


Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, 

45 Monument Cir., Indianapolis, IN 46204


Upcoming Dates:

May 29: The Cocktail Hour: Music of the Mad Men Era


Parkinson's Educational Series 2015

Co-sponsored by Parkinson's Awareness Association of Central Indiana (PAACI) and Rock Steady Boxing (RSB)


Last Sunday of Each Month

2:00pm - 3:30 pm

Rock Steady Boxing Corner Man Lounge, 6847 Hillsdale Court
Indianapolis, IN 46250


Upcoming Dates:

May 31, 2015 

2:00pm - 3:30 pm

"Deep Brain Stimulation for Parkinsons's" with Bruce Gardner of Medtronic

RSVPs are not required.

About Our Law Firm
Severns Associates, P.C. is an elder law firm that has been practicing for over 30 years, and is regarded as one of the most experienced elder law firms in the Indianapolis region.  We focus on helping families work together without conflict to plan for both immediate and future needs. 
Our services include:
2013 Firm Photo  
Severns Associates, PC
10293 N. Meridian Street Suite 150
Indianapolis, Indiana 46290